Submitted By Todd on March 20th at 5:10pm
Were the Dems ever seriously considering using the dreaded Deem and Pass tactic?They now say they won't use it, which may mean they've got the votes to pass Castro Care without the controversial move.
This will be a spectacular weekend as spring is sprung. Don't waste it watching media counts on health care. It's over. Bill will pass House. to pass the health reform bills.So tweets Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, who observed in a column yesterday that this is not necessarily good news for Democrats, who face a whooping in the November elections.
The party hopes that a promise kept will make the losses less painful. But for some of the 41 members running for re-election who represent districts carried by Republican John McCain in 2008, an affirmative vote on healthcare could end their careers. President Obama will do his best to sell the bill after the fact; he thinks he can turn around public opinion by November. That is an optimistic assessment from a self-assured man.It may be that Dems are getting comfortable that their position, as in addition to dropping the deem and pass tactic, they have dropped efforts to find a compromise on abortion.
House leaders chose not to give Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) a vote on making the anti-abortion fix to the bill and will instead try to muster the 216 votes needed to send a health care overhaul to the president without his help, a Democratic aide confirmed.
On the other hand, there's talk of using an executive order to reaffirm that no federal dollars can be used for abortion (the Hyde Amendment) as a way to pull a half dozen or so pro-life Dems into the yes column.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) confirmed that negotiations were ongoing about an executive order, but said, "I don't know where they stand."
Since the house Whip operation (vote tracking) is secret, it's hard to really know what's going on.
Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-Pa.), a close friend and ally of Stupak, also told POLITICO that the pro-life Democrats are holding the line and that their votes will be needed to pass the bill. "Bart's always said this'll come down to Saturday night at 11 o'clock," Pitts said.
Still unknown is in what condition the reconciliation bill (a new, 154 page adjustment to the senate bill that will pass the house and deem the senate bill to have been passed) will pass the senate. Republicans in the senate will seek to trim aspects of the modifying legislation that are not eligible for passage under reconciliation rules.
Republicans are vowing to use every procedural tactic they can to block the reconciliation bill and they may challenge its provisions. If the Senate parliamentarian rules with Republicans on a challenge, Democrats might have to vote on a changed bill, which would kick it back to the House again.Fear of the senate appears to still be a sticking point. Three's no way to know what will happen to the new, modification legislation as it works its way through the reconciliation process in the senate.
If the measure passes, Senate Republicans have enough votes on at least two points of order to alter the measure and send it back to the House for a second round of votes, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend. “If those people think they’re only going to vote on this once, they’re nuts,” Hatch said as House Democratic leaders rounded up support before the scheduled vote on President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.If the bill gets changed in the senate, then it goes back to the house for a new vote. And this has to get done before spring break next week.
The No. 2 Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin of Illinois, yesterday said the Senate aims to finish its work by March 26. That’s the day lawmakers are scheduled to leave for a two-week recess.More fights to come.